troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
X
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
My God, What Have I Done?

"What have I done? Sweet Jesus, what have I done?
Become a thief in the night, become a dog on the run?
Have I fallen so far, and is the hour so late,
That nothing remains but the cry of my hate?"
Jean Valjean after robbing a priest who had just given him shelter, Les MisÚrables

Well-intentioned but misguided character — very likely a Tragic Hero, a Tragic Villain or Anti-Villaincomes to realize that his actions have caused incredible damage, physical pain, emotional pain, or even loss of life. The usual line that comes after this is the title of the article (sometimes, without the "My God"). Tears of Remorse may accompany it.

Often the realization only comes when someone/something close to the person is hurt or destroyed. In quite a few cases, that "someone/something close" is the very entity he was trying to get rid of to begin with.

Usually delivered dramatically, sometimes, well, over-the-top. A villain might utter this line if they're about to take the Last-Second Chance. Or a hero after being freed from The Virus, being Brainwashed and Crazy, or a Superpowered Evil Side, or after making an unintentional but catastrophic mistake.

Sometimes followed by Must Make Amends, other times by an Ignored Epiphany.

Compare These Hands Have Killed, which can occur even the first time the character has killed, even justifiably.

See also Screaming At Squick.

Often the result if the protagonist becomes an Unwitting Pawn. Sometimes combined with Heroic BSOD; common with Villainous BSOD. Can be a self-inflicted What the Hell, Hero?. Contrast I Did What I Had to Do, Be All My Sins Remembered, and I Regret Nothing. Compare It's All My Fault, Heel Realization and Kick the Morality Pet. See also Out, Damned Spot!, Being Evil Sucks, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, and Sympathetic Murder Backstory. May be the result of an all too successful Pygmalion Plot to Teach Him Anger. When a work tries to deliberately invoke this as an audience reaction, that's You Bastard (whether it's successful or not).


Example subpages


    open/close all folders 

    Ballads 
  • Child Ballad 54, "The Cherry-Tree Carol",
    "Oh, what have I done, Lord?
  • The bandit in "Bonnie Banks o'Fordie" has one when he learns that the girl he just murdered is his sister. It ends with him stabbing himself.

    Machinima 

    Tabletop Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Part of the meltdown of Acro in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. You don't actually see the moment onscreen but the aftereffects are obvious during his breakdown. In attempting to murder Regina he accidentally killed her father, to whom Acro and his brother owed everything. As Sympathetic Murderers go he's high on the list.
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies , in the DLC case, Marlon Rimes is quite similar to Acro. His girlfriend died during a performance a year ago, and he believed Orla the orca whale was responsible, not knowing that 1) His girlfriend had a heart condition and 2) it was an entirely different orca. He tried to kill Orla by draining the water, but Jack Shipley, the owner of the aquarium and his boss, rushed out to save her, slipping and falling in the empty pool in the process despite Marlon's attempt to save him. Marlon tried to frame Orla for Jack's murder, but ultimately realized the truth of things and had this reaction. Thankfully, after it's pointed out that he tried to save her, he decides to make amends, however long it takes.
  • Archer from Fate/stay night as revealed in UBW route. He is trying to kill Shirou, himself from past, because he wants to prevent him making a pact with world to protect people, because it'll only make him one who kills some to save many.
  • One of the extended bad endings in the PS2 version of School Days has Kotonoha murder Sekai in cold blood and then offer herself to Makoto, who was watching. Makoto's horrified reaction causes Kotonoha to realize what she has done, and she breaks down in tears.


Must Make AmendsBlame TropesNever My Fault
Let's You and Him FightFriendly Fire IndexSelf Offense
Mock Surprise ReactionSurprise TropesNo More Lies
Muscle AngstSadness TropesOcular Gushers
Mummies at the Dinner TableOlder Than DirtNamed Weapons
My Grandma Can Do Better Than YouStock PhrasesMy God, You Are Serious
Ms. FanserviceOverdosed TropesTempting Fate
Must Make AmendsHeel Face IndexThe Pardon
My Country Tis of Thee That I StingIndex Of ShameNaked Freak-Out
Must Make AmendsI Regret This IndexMy Greatest Failure
Must Not Die a VirginImageSource/ArtCeltic Mythology
Moral Event HorizonTear JerkerMy Greatest Failure

alternative title(s): What Have I Done
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
23098
0